Thursday, Jan 27, 2022 | Last Update : 05:53 PM IST

  India   PIL in HC: Probe Mahatma Gandhi murder

PIL in HC: Probe Mahatma Gandhi murder

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : May 27, 2016, 2:20 am IST
Updated : May 27, 2016, 2:20 am IST

A researcher and trustee of Abhinav Bharat, Mumbai, has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court seeking the appointment of a commission of inquiry to probe afresh the murder

Mahatma Gandhi
 Mahatma Gandhi

A researcher and trustee of Abhinav Bharat, Mumbai, has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court seeking the appointment of a commission of inquiry to probe afresh the murder of Mahatma Gandhi in January 1948 and the conspiracy behind it. The petitioner has also sought that adverse observations made by the Kapur Commission, which investigated the murder, against Veer Savarkar should be deleted because he was acquitted in the murder case.

Pankaj Phadnis, who has spent almost two decades working on the matter, filed the PIL. He demanded a probe by a new commission, claiming that findings of the then J.L. Kapur Commission of Inquiry could not be relied upon because newspaper reports and photographs of January 31, 1948, were contradictory to the prosecution’s case.

 

According to the petition, news reports of that day had accounts of eyewitnesses who said that four bullets were shot at Mahatma Gandhi. To further support this claim, the petitioner has also relied upon Gandhi’s photograph published in the newspaper then.

It is mentioned in the petition that the prosecution had claimed that the assassin shot at Gandhi with a revolver having seven compartments of bullets. The prosecution also claimed that Gandhi received three bullet injuries, while the police was able to recover the remaining four bullets.

Relying on news and photographs collected from media reports at the time, the PIL has alleged that Gandhi had received four bullet wounds on his person on January 30, 1948, when he was shot dead.

 

One of the prayers made in the PIL also said that the commission should also find out whether the motive of the murder was to cause enmity between the people of India and Pakistan by sabotaging the Gandhi-Jinnah reconciliation project of “reviving people-to-people contact”. The PIL claimed that Gandhi was slated to visit Pakistan to revive people-to-people contact. However, he was shot dead prior to his departure for the neighbouring country.

Another prayer demanded that the commission of inquiry should conduct a probe to find out whether any person in the world — other than those accused in the Gandhi murder trial — had prior information of the conspiracy or had participated in such a conspiracy.

 

The petition also alleged that the Kapur Commission had made certain adverse observations or findings against Veer Savarkar implying or imputing that he was involved in the murder of Mahatma Gandhi. Savarkar was acquitted as an accused during the murder trial and hence these adverse findings should be expunged or removed, the PIL demanded.

Inspired by Savarkar, Abinav Bharat, Mumbai, was set up in 2001 to work for socially and economically weaker with focus on bridging the digital divide and this trust has no connection with Abhinav Bharat, Pune.

The PIL has also said that the new commission of inquiry should conduct a probe to find who had fired the fourth shot and to establish whether there was any other assassin besides Nathuram Godse.

 

The PIL is expected to come up for hearing on June 6 before a bench headed by Chief Justice D.H. Waghela.